The European Design Leadership Board

EDII - Helsinki


The European Commission set up the European Design Leadership Board (EDLB) in order to steer the European Design Innovation Initiative (EDII). To ensure the crucial link between design and innovation, the Board is composed of 15 design and innovation experts with diverse backgrounds, including Dr Miklós Bendzsel, Chairman of the Hungarian Design Council.



The complex economic and social changes in Europe require new approaches and solutions. A distinctly European design innovation capacity should be at the centre of this enabling the development of globally competitive, attractive, user-centred and sustainable products and services.

At the invitation of Commission Vice-President Antonio Tajani, the first meeting of the newly established European Design Leadership Board (EDLB) took place in Helsinki on 27th May 2011. Among the members of the board – alongside the president and vice-president of BEDA – is Dr. Miklós Bendzsel, President of the Hungarian Intellectual Property Office and Chairman the Hungarian Design Council.

The European Commission and the 15 members of the EDLB will work together to enhance design’s longterm contribution to smart, sustainable and inclusive growth through increased competitiveness and the pursuit of a better quality of life for all the citizens of Europe.

Vice President Tajani invited the Leadership Board to provide recommendations on how to enhance the role of design in innovation policy in Europe at the national, regional or local level and to develop a joint vision, priorities and actions to enable design to become an integral part of innovation policy at the European level, in line with the Innovation Union.

The Board is expected to steer the European Design Innovation Initiative (EDII) with the aim to „exploit the full potential of design for innovation and to reinforce the link between design, innovation and competitiveness”. The European Design Innovation Initiative is to be launched by Commissioner Tajani as a component of the Innovation Union later this summer.

The Innovation Union, one of seven flagship initiatives of EU’s growth strategy: Europe 2020, was launched by the Commission on 6th October 2010 – almost three years to the day following BEDA’s Design Manifesto meeting with President José Manuel Barroso, requesting that the European Commission include design as a key driver in its innovation policy.

Members of the EDLB:

Christian Bason, MindLab Copenhagen.

Dr. Miklós Bendzsel, Chairman of Hungarian Design Council.

Giovanni Antonio Cocco, Managing Director ISNART S.c.p.A, Istituto Nazionale Ricerche Turistiche.

Rachel Cooper, Professor of Design management, Chair of Lancaster Institute for the Contemporary Arts and Chair of Imagination Lancaster.

Deborah Dawton, President of BEDA (The Bureau of European Design Associations).

Olli-Pekka Kallasvuo, Chairman of the Committee supporting World Design Capital Helsinki 2012; former President and CEO of Nokia Corporation.

Andrej Kupetz, Chief Executive Officer of German Design Council.

Stefano Marzano, Chief Design Officer and a member of Group Management of Electrolux Group.

Isabel Roig, Managing director of BCD (Barcelona Design Center).

Klemens Rossnagel, responsible for Design Research Audi Group.

Andrea Siodmok, Technology Strategy Board, representing TAFTIE – the European Network of Innovation Agencies.

Livia Tirone, TIRONE NUNES, Founder of TIRONES NUNES dedicated to designing and promoting "bio-climatic" & "sustainable buildings".

Gerin Trautenberger, representing UEAPME – European Association of craft, small and medium-sized enterprises represented, and Chief Executive Officer of Microgiants Industrial Design GMBH  - member of UEAPME.

Roberto Verganti, Professor in Politecnico di Milano.

Thierry Wasser, Perfumer, Guerlain.


BEDA is the Bureau of European Design Associations. It was formed in 1969 as the representative body for professional designers’ associations within the European Union.

The Hungarian Design Council has been a member of BEDA from 2005, and contributes to promote the value of design and innovation to the European economy.

27th May 2011